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Sad Inspirational

Trigger warning: Suicide

I get out of bed and peek outside the attic window, gazing out at the forest around me. The mossy trees rise high in the sky. The ferns spring up out of the dirt. The road weaves its way through it all. If I look hard, I can see the lake, though it’s not much in the darkness. Just a big empty clearing.

I open the window, so I can hear the sounds. An owl hooting, a cricket chirping. Something growling, far away. Tonight is my last night to ever look out at this forest, hear it’s whispers.

I tiptoe across my room, avoiding all of the spots where the floorboards creak. I can’t wake Mom or Dad or Naomi up. I open the door, revealing a shadowy staircase. I take a shaky step down.

One step.

Two steps. 

Three steps.

Four steps.

Five steps.

Six steps.

Seven steps.

Eight steps. 

Nine steps.

Ten steps.

Eleven steps.

Twelve steps.

Thirteen steps.

Fourteen steps.

Fifteen steps.

Sixteen steps.

I turn left and face the creaky, dimly-lit hallway. I’ll have to pass Naomi’s room, and then Mom and Dad’s. I try to be as quiet as possible, moving around like a ninja.

I’m about halfway down when I hear the sound of a collar jingling. Freezing in my steps, only one simple thought rings through my mind, impossible to shove out and rightfully so.

Oh, no.

Lewis, our Great Dane, runs toward me at jet speed, barking like he’d stolen the voices of all the other dogs on the planet. I can’t worry about being stealthy anymore. I dash all the way down the hall, dodging Lewis as I pass him. But he follows me out, like we’re going to go play fetch. I have to do something.

I work my way towards the front of the house- through the kitchen, the dining room, the living room, Lewis still following me. Then I see the front entrance.

“I’m sorry for this,” I whisper to Lewis.

Then I quickly open the front door, jump through and into the wild, and slam it back into my dog’s face.

I wind my way through the trees, remembering when I was little and I named every single one. Dad had put signs up on them, proudly displaying their ridiculous titles. They were up there for seven years, before I was too old and decided to take them all down. 

Memories like that won’t exist anymore. But I’m okay with that. I can’t stay here- I just can’t.

I grab a stick to push the cobwebs out of my face. I don’t even bother keeping away from the poison oak. I’ll be gone before I can get any sort of rash.

I stride forward. It’s not meant to be a powerful stride. But it feels like it. It’s the last time I’ll ever walk like this.

I now get a better view of the lake behind the mossy trees. It’s glinting, the ice winking at me. It’s frozen over, a result of the 26-degree Janurary weather.

I step through the line of trees and take a good look around. The lake is small, maybe a quarter square mile. We’ve gone kayaking around it before, many times

I take a deep, heavy breath before stepping onto the bitter ice. The ice is fragile, yet solid in a way. More tangible than I expected. It probably goes deep down. It’ll take a while to crack. But I still go forth.

One step.

Two steps.

Three steps.

Four steps.

Five steps.

Six steps.

Seven steps.

Eight steps.

Nine steps. 

Ten steps.

Eleven steps.

Twelve steps.

Thirteen steps.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

I spin around to face Naomi, my older sister.

“I- I-” I pause. Why, oh why, has the ice waited to break until now? Until after someone found me? “Why are you here?”

“I think a better question is: Why are you there?” A crestfallen look of horror takes over Naomi’s face. I feel bad, in a way. She has to experience this. “Wait- you’re not-”

A reflex tries to control me, a reflex to make up some lie. Lewis raced onto the lake and I went after him, but he’s already dashed off. There was a diamond, randomly set in the middle of the lake. Well, that one’s a bit too far-fetched. A million different stories demand attention in my mind. But I nod anyway, certifying Naomi’s theory.

“You’ve got to come back,” says Naomi. “Think about what it’ll be like for me, Mom, Dad, your friends, your teachers… think of what it’ll be like for you, especially. You’ll never go to college, fall in love, have children.”

“But-” I stammer.

“Come back,” Naomi says. Her voice is strict. Sharp. “Or I’m coming after you.”

I sigh, close my eyes, and turn around.

One step.

Two steps. 

Three steps.

Four steps.

Five steps.

Six steps.

Seven steps.

Eight steps.

Nine steps.

Ten steps.

Eleven steps.

Twelve steps.

Thirteen ste-

CRRACKKKK!

The ice breaks. Horror flashes through my mind. This is it, I think. This is the end. I’m going to die of hypothermia, if I don’t drown first. A wave of cold rises up my leg, getting deeper and deeper. It’s impossible to feel anything.

Except for the slight motion of someone pulling me up to the surface.

I open my eyes. It’s Naomi, her hand in mine, dragging me up.

“Thank you,” I rasp. I shake all of the water off of my leg. I’ve never been colder in my entire life. Why did I think of purposely doing this?

“This is just between you and me,” Naomi says. “No one knows why the ice broke.”

“You and me,” I whisper. My eyes are barely open. It’s hard to hear through the rigid, icy pain.

“Come on,” Naomi instructs, pulling me back to the house. Not a hard pull, but it feels like it. I feel like it. I feel weak, but that’s okay. “Let’s go dry you off.”

June 09, 2021 17:21

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3 comments

Echo Sundar
18:05 Jun 09, 2021

Well, that was a very powerful story for so few words. Very short but it got the message across. Vivid descriptions it felt like you were there in the moment. You old a story that probably only took place in about five minutes and you still described scenery thoughts pot conflict and they perfectly weighed each other out. Amazing story!

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Kat Sencen
18:06 Jun 09, 2021

Thank you! That was some great feedback!

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Maraika!!! 😎
02:49 Jun 14, 2021

This was amazing. The power of the simple fast words had me hooked from begining to end. It was so raw with emotion and i love the use of counting steps. You create this character and their world in only a few words. The story almost felt like it was runing, or spining in the wind. Like you where runing with the character and catching glimpses of what their small world was like. You have such power with your words.

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